A Review of Terrence McCauley's PROHIBITION
by Andrew Salmon
(disclaimer: Andrew Salmon writes for Airship 27)
New Pulp has been around long enough that there are literally 100s of new works that have come out in the last few years. So many that a list of Essentials can now be compiled as fans debate their favorites whenever and wherever they gather.
Well, you can add PROHIBITON to your list. Terrence McCauley has given us a gem of a novel - the best New Pulp I've had the pleasure to read in years. This one, folks, is required reading.
With absolute authenticity and compelling narrative drive, McCauley guides us into the world of former boxer turned mob enforcer Terry Quinn. The year is 1930, the Depression reigns and booze means money to those who control it. There's always money for vice and Quinn's boss, Archie Doyle, is raking it in. But there are challengers to Doyle's power out there and the clock is ticking.
That's the set up. What follows is a truly inspired reading experience. McCauley not only recreates the speech rhythms and attitudes of Doyle and his crew but drops you in the middle of the action. PROHIBITION is a time machine and you better have a Tommy gun close at hand before you crack the cover.
Quinn leaps off the page - a fully three-dimensional protagonist you can't help but root for as the bullets fly and power plays are put in motion. The action is visceral, bloody, fast-paced and realistic. The character dynamics amongst the cast are fleshed out and interesting.
The end result is a must-read. It's as simple as that. If you're a fan of gangster fiction from Little Caesar to the Godfather and the Sopranos, then PROHIBITION is for you. If you love tough guy/hardboiled fiction, then McCauley delivers. Fans of fast-paced action take note as well. This novel delivers on all fronts.
Featuring a great cover and interior illustrations by the incomparable Rob Moran, the book is rock solid from top to bottom. Do not miss this one. You read that a lot in reviews, but it's never been more true than it is for PROHIBITION. The novel is a stunning achievement. Bravo!